Tag Archives: crafting

Punk-Domestic Chatelainery – Some Thoughts on Language and Meaning

So Erica, from NorthWest Edible Life, posted the following picture to Twitter and asked folks “What is Homesteading To You?”
 

Picture of a rural log-based house (with a big front porch) in early Winter, ft a hazy mountain in the background. Over it all is written:
“Homesteading Is: // being self-sufficient // Living simple // getting back to our roots // breaking away from commercialism // growing your own food”


 
So. “Homesteading”… It’s convenient. It’s good shorthand for what most of us tend to be doing which, I suspect, falls roughly in line with what’s on the list in that picture: D-I-Y rather than B-U-Y, embracing frugality for a whole slew of reasons, reconnecting with the daily-living skills of our ancestors to a greater or lesser degree, actively taking part in the rhythms of the land that sustains us. But, if you’re a white person (which, by the looks of things, many of us self-identified homesteaders – urban or otherwise – are) living pretty-much anywhere other than Europe, but particularly in North America, the term “homesteading” has a pretty fraught history. If you’re Canadian, some of the stuff our ancestors did (and which is still going on – so maybe try writing your MP about the need for reparations and a good, hard look into the MMIW situation?), directly or indirectly, was genocide. Here. Where we’re growing our own food and taking great joy in planting the Three Sisters together in our gardens.
 
So as much as I find the word useful (my twitter bio says “I live in 1821”, among other things) in terms of how it manages to imply wood stoves, fibre arts, cast iron cookware, home-grown veggies, pre-electric machinery, wild-crafting/forraging, seasonal rhythms, cozy-warm candle-light, and making cheese from scratch… it’s also a bit of a problem.
 
So I have to ask: Is there another word I could be using? Something that takes the rural implications (and Quiver-Full-reminiscent family isolation) out of “back to the lander” while hanging onto the seasonal rhythms and self-sufficiency? Something that pushes “DIY” to a more extreme and broad-spectrum conclusion than stenciling “Riot Don’t Diet” onto a hacked-up t-shirt? Something that takes the term “Productive” out of the assembly line and the cubical farm and plants it firmly in the rich, creative soil of an anti-consumerist, pro-interdependence It-Takes-a-Village home and community?
 
I’ve seen “Green Living” tossed around. “Voluntary Simplicity” (although that just doesn’t fit our stuff-intensive house or people-intensive home-lives) has popped up a few times, too. I rather like “Punk Domestic” and “Radical Homemaker”, in significant part becuase they invoke the activism and, frankly, broke-ass necessity, of some of my personal Do-It-Yourself Skills. My wife and I, as part of our Power Dynamic, use the language of fealty to describe What We Do. As such, the language of the Chatelaine also seems appropriate: The whole idea of the “Keeper of the Keys” deciding who – and in this case what – is and isn’t allowed entry into the Keep (be that BPA, Monsanto, & CAFO-raised critter-flesh, vs thrifted clothes, home-grown veggies, & eight million mason jars… or whatever your personal dichotomies are), maintaining the stores, spending a heap of time on fibre arts[1] and home-preserving in an eminantly social, but also practical and necessary, way. Even the notion of a whole village turning out to handle the bulk of the harvest together (although heaven and earth know that this is hardly an out-of-date way of doing things).
 
Anyway. If all of the above gives you an idea of what I mean when I say “(Urban) Homesteading”, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.
 
 
– TTFN,
– Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] In my case, this is for fun. In the case of actual Medieval Ladies of the Manor? It was because the work was basically never-ending. The silver lining, when there was one, was that most of it was automatic-pilot enough that, by the time you hit puberty (and had been doing this stuff for 10+ years) you could at least hang with your ladies-in-waiting/relatives/room-mates and be social while getting all of it done.

Advertisements

Big-C Crafting, Little-C Crafting, Moving Your Body, and Unblocking Your Magic

As I’m writing this, people I care about are making their way towards my city (and, in a couple of case, my house) for a Leather Family Reunion of sorts. I’ll be bringing my handspinning with me (again, and along with a couple of big vats of food because: this is me we’re talking about) in order to soak up some of The Fam into the yarn I’m spinning (and spinning, and spinning… I’ve been doing this for most of a year now and, possibly because I’ve been deliberately felting the yearn when I wash it, I’m still not finished my various shawl stripes and keep needing to generate more yarn to get the lengths right…).
For a brief little bit (like a couple of hours – there was, to my relief, a bit of a crossed wire there) I was on the hook for a short-notice workshop/craft-and-chatter-session about the work of one’s hands and how it relates to Power (in the kink sense) and also Power (in the spirituality sense).
 
My personal unified theory of How I Function Best has a lot to do with how (and if) I move around. Given that I spend a tonne of my time ensconsed on a couch, or in a chair (less frequently), typing away at All The Things, this may explain why it’s so easy for me to become despondent and generally get bogged down the Swamp of the Psyche (if you’re familiar with Brene Brown, you will probably alreqdy know that this means Shame).
Doing things with my hands – and, more generally, working my body – is a way to combat/avoid this, yes. But It’s the WHY of it that gets my attention from a Witchy perspective. Dancing, singing, blending yin and yang (hatha) yoga, going walking, working in the garden, doing handicrafts, doing the chopping/kneading/general-prep of a slow-cooking meal, even hand-cranking our little, borrowed laundry pod… all of that stuff helps to get my Energy moving freely. No blockages. It shakes off the random, yet never-ending, tiredness. It helps me direct my own energy (practically and magically) towards whatever goals I happen to be wrestling with at the time.
 
I realize that this probably sounds pretty Artists-Way-y, but there it is. Move your body, make things with your hands, and you (or at least I) will find it easier to make things (create things, create changes, make things happen) with your mind and your magic.

New Moon – Ice Moon Begins

Ye fucking gods, it’s cold out.
Which is not to say that it’s actually that cold – if you’re out of the wind, the sun is beautifully warm – but my 10-minute walk home from the bus has left me shivering and icey on the inside an hour after getting in the door. O.O
That’s Ice Moon for you. The time of killing cold, numb fingers, and dressing very, very carefully against the weather.
Which, in a round-about way, brings me to Glamoury.
Yes, kids, I’m still getting to know my way around the Glamoury tool kit, but deep winter isn’t helping a whole lot. I have been gifted a gorgeous, full-length (almost ankle length on me) black winter coat with a fur collar, which I’m feeling kind of chuffed about. I may toss that one on to run my errands this afternoon, just because I can. Most days, though, I’m wearing my Dad’s old leather coat (the one that needs the button holes tightened up) paired with my zombie boots[1], colourful OTK socks, the lilac insulated vest a friend gave me (and that makes a hell of a difference, warmth-wise[2]), plus whatever warm (ish?) layers I can throw on when I have to leave the house.
Glamourous it is NOT.
I have to ask myself who I want to impress. ‘Cause I don’t think I’m impressing anyone – with the possible exception of the artists for-whom I work as a model (and that’s important, y’all!) since they tend to favour people whose clothing is as paint-spattered as their own – with my three-day-old tank top and messy skirt.
Yeah.
Winter often feels like the time where you Just Get Through It and don’t think too hard about doing it with flair. None the less… worth it to give it a try.
 
Last Lunar Cycle, I wrote about sorting out what’s firming up versus what’s not quite holding its shape.
Now, as Ice Moon kicks off, I’m happy to say that one of my projects is also getting off the ground – we’ll see if it works out as a paid gig, BUT I think I’ve managed to get over the worst part of the learning curve (go me) – or at least the worst part of the first learning curve, which is probably more accurate – and have some idea of how to keep the momentum building, which is good.
I’ve taken the next step on my Summer Project, which is good (that particular corner of it is now a waiting game). I still haven’t done much Kundalini yoga, though I think I will have the opportunity to do so tomorrow – thank goodness. I’m slowly getting over the bronchial crud that had me laid out two weeks ago, but it’s still lingering. Between that and (thank goodness) the modeling work that’s been coming my way, most of my physical activity has consisted of holding poses, or else making my way up the stairs (to blow my nose) or down the stairs (to boil the kettle again).
I’m getting a better handle on What I Want, even if it’s not totally firmed up yet.
 
That thing that Gordon does, the exercise where you come up with your Perfect Day and then work magic (and action) to make it real? I’ve started thinking of my Perfect Day in fairly broad terms like:
Make good food
Make good art
Keep good company
Do something sensual
Do something physical, preferably outdoors, ideally in the Garden (when weather allows)
Do something crafty/Crafty
Get paid for something
It’s still pretty fumbly.
Today, I’ve modeled (something physical and part of making good art, even if it isn’t exactly mine) and have errands to run (also physical, since I’ll be walking them). Submitted my time sheets for the past three modeling engagements (get paid for something), and I’ll be hosting a couple of people for a yack about Power Exchange stuff later this evening. (After I make bread and, most likely, pizza – AKA Good Food). Tomorrow I’ll be making earrings (do something crafty + get paid for something), hitting up a Kundalini class (something physical, something sensual), and working on a couple of pervy performance art projects. My “something sensual” will probably be a hot bath scented and charged with ylang ylang, cloves, and cocoa absolut. Because who doesn’t love that?
In the meantime, though, I need to get myself sorted. I’ve still got errands to run and sigils to redraw.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] What am I saying? They’re pretty much ALL zombie boots at this point.
 
[2] I never thought I’d wear one of these. Seriously. We’d get the ultra-puffy version in, every October, at the store I used to work at, and it was just “Eugh. This year’s Hideous Vest for Fall…” But they’re actually really helpful, if you can keep them out of sight. I find myself wondering if I could make myself something similar, but cut a little more appropriately, and using a tone-on-tone black fabric – like a herringbone or a brocade or something – for the world-facing side, just to make it look a little more sophisticated and a little less “ski camp escapee”. It could happen. Maybe. I’ve got enough sewing projects on the go (and languishing, unfinished, more to the point) right now that taking up another one might be a bad idea. But we’ll see. Keep it in mind for next year.

Resolutions – Pagan Experience 2015

Hi-ho, folks, this is my first promp for The Pagan Experience 2015 blogging challenge. Welcome to any new people who may have turned up and hello again to the rest of you. 🙂
 
So “Resolutions” can actually find some echos in my final Pagan Blog Project post for 2014, and ties nicely to the whole concept outlined in Miss Sugar’s New Year New You ongoing project as well.
Personally, I tend not to make Resolutions. They seem like a generally bad idea – like making a promise when you’re not sure you can actually keep it[1] – BUT I do occasionally set goals for myself in the interests of taking small, manageable steps towards some sort of free-form “end-goal” that may or may not matter in and of itself[2].
 
Magically/Religiously speaking, my goals as a bioregional animist, a musician, a sacred-sexuality Perv, and a kitchen witch include:
 
(A) Grow a garden.
As-(many-of)-you-know-bob, my lovely wife and I moved into a rental house in our neighbourhood (and the heck OUT of our former roach-tastic apartment building – thank you ALL of our gods for that fantastic opportunity!) which has given us the GLORIOUS luxury of a yard. My wife now has a back patio upon-which to do motorcycle maintenance, and I have 1/3 of a shared pack garden in-which to grow All The Veggies (our neighbour has the other 2/3 under cultivation already – I’m okay with this. It’s a containers-required space anyway, since we’re talking a century of lead-poisoning in the soil at the this point, so I’m Just Fine with growing potatoes in a barel, and setting my squash, greens, and tomato plants in second-hand horse troughs (we are in the market for same, fyi, and one of my wife’s girlfriends is looking for them amongst her rural neighbours – wish us luck!). As a bioregional animist, my particular Path is linked with a certain amound of land-guardianship but also with the idea that, when you eat the food that grows where you live, your body becomes more literally and mindfully part of where you live. As in: I’m part of this urban ecosystem already. I shed hair and fingernail clippings here. I breathe here. I shit here. I’m part of this place. But when I make a point of finding/growing/eating food that grew in this province, in this microclimate/valley, in this neighbourhood, in this yard… I’m making a point of acknoweldging and strengthening those ties. And that’s important to me. Likewise… I come from farmers. More recently on my mom’s side than on my dad’s side, but on both sides: Farmers. The last time I had a yard, my farming grandparents were both still alive and both well enough to travel (all of my grandparents are dead at this point, so it’s nice that my ancestors can see what I’m up to and maybe give me some pointers when it comes to growing and harvesting the good stuff)… and I remember my Nana being really happy that I was growing food in my back yard. Like “It’s nice to see this continuing”. That kind of thing. So there’s also a pretty big tie to my herritage to my ancestors, including ancestor that I was able to meet in life, there too. I love the idea of growing the pumpkins that become my pumpkin butter, growing the tomatoes that become my salsa and bruschetta (among numerous other things), the cukes that become my garlic-dill pickles, and – eventually – the rhubarb, sea berries, and currants that become my jams, chutneys, and barbicue sauces. I love the opportunity to sit at the (yet-to-be-scrounged) patio table, drinking iced tea made from my peppermint and dried red currants, watching the bees zip and zoom among the squash and bean and tomato vines, knowing that my own roots in this place are growing deeper and stronger along with them.
 
(B) Keep Writing
I could say “finish the novel” or “finish the poetry manuscript” but… Okay, see above RE: making promises you’re not sure you can keep. I don’t actually trust myself to finish a book-length piece of writing, in spite of having got through nanowrimo successfully at least twice. BUT if I just Keep Writing – do that thing that Neil Gaiman says to do and simply keep putting one word after the other – I will eventually get to the point where I’ve finished the entirety of Draft One. Which hopefully won’t suck completely (my plan is to get a friend to edit the first 1/3 of it – what I’ve got don so far – and see what needs fixing/clarfying/etc… and then go from there). The plan is also to hit up a coffee shop once a week or so and hand-write some poetry, with the plan being to get enough loosely-food-themed poems FINISHED that I can start putting them into place and trying to polish them up. Wish me luck on that one.
 
(C) Wake up my Bone Snake
Which sounds way cooler than “practice culturally appropraited Kundalini Yoga-as-taught-by-white-people”, doesn’t it? Basically, the plan here is to use tantric type breathing techniques and Kundalini movements/poses (as taught by white people, both down the street from me and/or in videos like this one) to free up my own energy in ways that facilitate both my sexuality and my musicianship[3]. Tied to this, of course, are the desires to (a) take further steps into active polyamoury; (b) get my musical self back to pre-University levels of confidence, shiny ability, & performanceship; and (c) Get more magically-delicious from a leather-woo/woo-sexual perspective. I’d love to throw in a Con like Dark Oddyssey (the one in DC), as well, but that’ll have to wait until there’s a good deal more money in the bank.
 
There are other things – like getting physcially stronger, getting better at sewing, getting comfortable wearing more stylish[4] clothes when I’m just plain-old out-and-about, incorporating (functional!) sigils into my magical workings, and having more people over on a casual basis – but those are the big ones, I think.
 
Anyway. That’s where things are at.
Wish me luck, and do stick with me for the rest of 2015.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Like… You can Resolve to Loose Fifteen Pounds – to pick a really common one that turns up at this time of year – but you actually have very little control over whether or not that happens. Dropping five pounds is easy. Any more than that, and it basically becomes some sort of herculean effort full of deprivation for… no results what-so-ever. Just as one example.
 
[2] Like… I want to get stronger, physically speaking. But I don’t set goals like “I can dead-lift X pounds by Y date” because… that seems like setting myself up for failure in no uncertain terms. Instead, I set goals like “Do something physical – lift small weights for X repetitions; do hatha yoga poses for X minutes; go for a walk into the next neighbourhood over and back; work in the garden; go swimming; run up and down the stairs X times; etc – every day”… and, one way or another, I can make that happen most days – even if it’s just because I have to get groceries (walking into the next neighbourhood and back + wieght-lifting (sort of) on the way home) or do laundry (same again) outside the house. They’re tiny, and easy to accomplish in a “Just get up and do it” kind of way (like going up and down the stairs when it’s -32 out and I Just Don’t Wanna), and they add up over time to me being able to take hills more easily or carry heavier groceries home all at once, or other things that effectively add up to more strength and endurance on my part… without making some kind of Resolution for what that’s going to look like 12 months from now. Does that make sense?
 
[3] I’m a singer – meaning that my instrument is my body – and I’ve found (to my surprise, but not exactly) that the energy points that get called Chakras (the big ones that line up along the spine, at any rate) all light up as I’m getting ready to sing. My teacher didn’t teach me how to do this on purpose, this is just what my body does when I’m prepping (properly) to sing. Perhaps unusrprisingly, there’s a HUGE tie-in between my magical ability my musical ability, my creative ability, and my sexuality… and I find that if I do this kind of physical-energetic work (breath of fire, being one, but far from the only one), I open the chanels to do all of that so much better and more freely. So it’s kind of a Thing to make happen this year and – chances are good – all foreseable years into the future.
 
[4] For a given value of “stylish”. Bascially, I have a very nebulous idea of what “my style” actually is… and it does grow and change with time… but I also know that I get a lot of attention when I’m being my fully fabulous Femme Self, and… in spite of being Internationally Tall, it takes a fair amount of practice to be able to handle that degree of attention all the time. I’ve started with charging my mascara (magically-speaking) and one of my perfumes (“Blood Kiss” by BPAL, if you’re wondering), and by routinely weeding my wardrobe in order to get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit… But working my way up to 100% Glamazon Baddass in casual situations is going to take some work. :-\

Full Moon – Snow Moon Crests (What’s Starting to Flow? What’s Freezing Up?)

I live in the House Of Plague. The idea that Snow Moon is a “hunker down” kind of period couldn’t feel more true right now. Outside, the temperature is shifting between above and below freezing, giving us a mix of deep snow, ice crust, and puddles of water on top of the ice. The only thing I need to get moving/flowing right now is the congestion that’s sitting like concrete in my lungs and lymph glands.
None the less, I’m trying to martial a manageable to-do list that will see me through January with more Kundalini Yoga, more modeling work, and more creative production, albeit on a fairly small scale. I have the beginnings of a project/deadline in place for early July, and someone told me that he thought I had a lovely singing voice, which he remembered from hearing me singing around the neighbourhood, years ago. Which was a really lovely thing to hear. 🙂
The past two weeks have been basically a blur of social activities – visiting various family members (chosen and otherwise) for various events from Solstice gatherings to birthday parties to secular xmas to NYE and beyond – so I feel like I’ve been living in an extended time-outside-of-time kind of temporal space. Having my wife home, sick, for a few days hasn’t helped with that, since her work schedule (to some extent) is what keeps me aware of what day of the week it actually is (I, on the other hand, pretty much work when work is available, so…). Like I said, it’s a liminal time. Tomorrow (Monday) marks the begonning of “back to normal” but here I am, sick as a dog and with my wife still on the mend, wondering what that’s even going to look like.
 
If I had to take the questions I posed back at the New Moon, this is (for the moment) what I come up with as answers:
 
What parts of your life are seizing/freezing up?
This bit is basically my “usual” as far as problems are concerned. I have a friend who talks about how her gentlemanfriend needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone because, otherwise, he’ll never ever leave it. I can be entirely the same way (ye gods, that is not an invitation… ack!) I’m glamouring up to spot opportunities with the definite intention to say YES when they show up, BUT… having said YES, already, to one… the brain weasels are definitely pulling out the big guns to get me to “stay small” rather than let myself be big. (And I am big. Physically. Psychically. I know it. But I’m scared that if I unapologetically just let it ALL OUT… then people won’t like me, and they’ll be scared of me and get mad at me. There you go. That’s my big fear. I don’t want people to get mad at me. Eugh). So I’m currently in a bit of a battle with my own brain to keep from self-sabotaging before I’m even out of my shell, and if that’s not fighting a seize-up, I don’t know what is.
 
Which parts are getting more stable and solid?
This? I couldn’t even tell you. I’d love to be able to say that I have a better idea of What I Want – beyond the basics of “Enough? Is my rent paid? Can I afford food? Am I not being a burden to my wife?” – but… I’m still in “survival mode” on that front. Wanting, in any kind of concrete terms, seems like asking for too much; like if I put out my hand it’ll just get slapped for the audacity of asking in the first place. Everything still feels nebulous. Like… I know a big shift is coming but… How? When? What? Where? Why? (The who, at least, is likely to be me…). That said, things that have felt reliably solid already (mainly my primary/only romantic relationship) are continuing to feel solid and strong without feeling like they’re getting stuck in any kind of way. (Thank goodness). More chances to travel together would be nice (see below re: Money, there isn’t much, um) because time out of the house is time to reconnect without All The Things getting in the way but… otherwise, we’re doing quite nicely, thank you. 🙂
 
Where are things getting more fluid and flowing?
I think this might be my willingness to maybe attempt to go on a date. You know, at some nebulous, undecided time in the future. With someone other than my lovely wife, I mean. Trying to get the Poly blood flowing, as it were. We’ll see how (if, where) this goes, but it seems to be a thing, so hey.
 
What’s loosening up and moving?
My voice. I mean, not right this second, since I’m managed to catch the bug my lovely wife brought home. But more generally? I’ve caught myself singing – well, even – at random moments during the day. I’ve done warm-ups in conjunction with Kundalini physical stuff. It’s been 14 years. I think it’s time to come home again. 🙂
 
What’s struggling to take/keep its shape?
Urgh. See above re: What do I actually WANT. I don’t even know where to start looking to figure that one out and, when I try, I usually run smack up against things like “But there is no money, um” which, I’m increasingly understanding, is always about more than money. Always. (This is the trick with things that are symbols already…). I’d like to believe that What I Want involves a metric heap of sensuality, that it’s a good mix of pervy performance art (er… whatever that means – there are a lot of options), crafty-hippy-home-making, good food, good ethics, and good dates… but that there’s also enough money coming in from the perfy performance art – and, ideally, the crafty-hippy stuff, too – that I know where my next project’s funding is coming from, and also where our next meal and next month’s rent/mortgage is coming from, too. If I can boil that down to a susinct mental image, then great. I’ll have something I can magically work with. Until then… it still feels like I’m fumbling around in the dark.
 
 
TTFN,
Melaid the Birch Maiden.

U is for Un-Covered and Up-Cycling – Pagan Blog Project 2014

Maybe this is a silly way to go about this, but here we go. I’m currently lacking an altar cloth. This isn’t typically a huge big deal because, for the past seven years, I’ve had multiple small altars all over the house and have put them on surfaces that I’m not worried about over-heating or getting wet.
This time around, though, I’m putting everybody in (more or less) the same place – in part so that, when I have the altars lit, I don’t have to keep running up the stairs to make sure the top floor hasn’t inadvertently caught fire.
But my new altar/shrine space is on top of my fancy marquetry cabinet, and I do not want to wreck that lovely surface.
Consequently, I’m kind of in the market for an altar cloth.
You want to know what I’m considering?
Our new fridge? Rather than putting in the two bottom drawers, we’re just going to slide a Rubbermaid bin into the bottom of the fridge[1]. So we’ve got a piece of glass shelving just… sitting around, available.
So I’m thinking I’ll grab one of my many, MANY shawls – probably the white one that was my grandmother’s (she may or may not have woven it herself, I’m not sure) – and use that as an altar cloth, which I’ll then cover with the glass shelf, so that the fabric and the wood are both covered with a fire-and-water-proof medium that I can put candles and incense on, and that I can wash easily when I need to.
This feels both brilliant-creative (‘cause it is) and a bit silly/opportunistic because… fridge parts? Really? But cooking and preserving are a huge part of my life and my religiosity, so having a piece of a refrigerator incorporated into my altar doesn’t seem entirely out of place, even as it does seem a little… I dunno… like I’m going to wind up in one of those lists of signs that you’re a “red neck”[2] pagan.
In any case, that’s what I’m planning.
On with the washing of the fridge parts!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] We’ll see how well that works… um… I’ll keep you posted.
 
[2] I know. And also, really… It still fits. Broke. Prone to fermenting my own ale in a large, plastic bucket and making my altar candles out of re-purposed bacon grease, I have totally used a chicken leg as a wand. Yes, actually, that’s me. On with the fridge!

T is for Tools – Pagan Blog Project 2014

Everything Important Has A Name.
This is something that my wife taught me, though I’m not sure if she just picked it up through observation, or if one of the those Dutch cabinet-makers who taught her carpentry also taught her this but, either way, every time she gets a new tool, particularly if it’s a tool with moving parts, she tells me the names of all the parts and, frequently, the name of the specific tool as well. All the sewing machines have names that they’ve told her as she’s used them.
My wife just bought me an antique Walking Wheel, which is a kind of spinning wheel that doesn’t have a treadle (you turn the big wheel by hand, and the big wheel turns a much, MUCH smaller wheel which, in turn (ha!) turns the spindle and spins the yarn/thread and you go) and which is the kind of wheel that Sleeping Beauty would have pricked her finger on, around about 800 years ago. Typically, this would have no “fly wheel” – the kind of thing with hooks to help keep the spun thread lining up on the spindle all at once – and would have a spindle that was, essentially, a great big nail that you could absolutely hurt yourself on. That said, since mine is missing its spindle, we’ll see what we can come up with as we go.
She is probably around 200 years old, though I could be wrong (and it looks like a couple of her legs have been replaced over the years). She might be the type that the Shakers tended to make. The big wheel turns the little wheel. The little wheel is called the Mother Of All, and she – supported by two delicate posts who are called The Maidens, turns the spindle, which twists the yarn as it spins. I can’t help wanting to call the big wheel the Crone or the Grandmother, though I know that’s not its proper name.
I put my hand on that big, bent oak Wheel, and she told me, very clearly, “Sarah”.
My spinning wheel’s name is Sarah.
Everything important has a name.